Dear PRCW members and readers: The psalmist prays,
“It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2).
Here are two evening prayers to use before you sleep. May they be of aid to you to give you rest. My wife and I have been using them throughout these days and have greatly benefited from them.
In Christ, Pastor Rich Anjema
- Evening Prayer [from the URCNA’s Forms and Prayers booket, p. 115]
Merciful God, we come to you now at the end of this day in the name of our Savior, that Light shining in the darkness, dispelling the night of our sins and the blindness of our hearts. Lord of our labor, now be Lord of our rest. Free us of doubts, anxieties, and temptations and continue to work your sanctifying grace in us even as we sleep. Remembering that we are not only frail but sinful, we ask you to defend us from all dangers, but especially from the assaults of the world and the devil as well as from the disease of our own hearts. We confess that we have not spent this day without grievously sinning against you, to whom all hearts are open and no wickedness is hidden. Yet, clothed in the righteousness of your dear Son, we call on your name and claim your salvation. Give us repentant and believing hearts that delight in following your ways. We ask also that you would be with those who are afflicted with grief, pain, temptation, doubts, and especially for [specific requests]. Together with them preserve us all in one communion and body until we enter at last your everlasting rest. In the name of Christ our Savior. Amen
- An Evening Prayer [from the Canadian Reformed Church’s Book of Praise, p. 641]
Merciful God, in whom is no darkness at all, we come before you at the end of this day. We thank you that you have given us strength for our daily work, and have guided us safely through this day. Bless what was good in our labour and conduct.
Since you ordained that man should labour during the day and rest at night, we pray you to give us peaceful and undisturbed rest so that we may be able to take up our daily task again. Command your angels to guard us and cause your face to shine upon us. We case all our anxieties on you, for you take care of us.
Control our sleep and rule our hearts, in order that we may not be defiled in any way but may glorify you even in our nightly rest. Defend and protect us against all assaults of the devil and take us into your divine protection.
We confess that we did not spend this day without grievously sinning against you. In your mercy please cover our sins as you cover the earth in darkness of the night.
Grant comfort and rest to all who are ill, bowed down with grief, or afflicted with spiritual distress. Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of your hands.
All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.